January 22, 2020

On today's show our editor, Mark Marshall, takes us back to look at a couple of amazing organizations we've highlighted on earlier shows...

The nonprofit in Los Angeles, United in Harmony, was established in 1989 as a response to homelessness and poverty facing children in the community. Their mission is to provide impoverished children with hope and opportunities.  Adrian visited United in Harmony and spoke with Lindsay Schwartz, the Executive Director, and Nick Melvoin, Camp Programming Director. @UnitedinHarmony

Camp Harmony is the foremost United in Harmony program. Camp Harmony offers needy children a break from the tension of their daily lives–a place to play freely. It also affords them the opportunity to grow new talents while learning to trust and to try. Children enjoy a five night camping experience in the summer and an mini-two night camping experience in the winter. Their goal is to build relationships and self-esteem, to emphasize the beauty of nature, and to offer activities in art, sports, personal health and personal challenge.

Over 100 volunteer counselors are part of United in Harmony’s Leadership Program, a post-camp program that enables counselors to maintain relationships with campers, through monthly engagements with various agencies throughout the year. Summer counselors have the opportunity to continue relationships formed with campers by applying to the Leadership program. 

One charity working to change the lives of foster children is Loving Hands Children’s Home

As a Registered Nurse, Janiese Finney grew weary of observing the continuous cycle that resulted from the lack of consistent care that is faced by foster children in Los Angeles. Children often remained in the hospital for extended periods after receiving care -waiting to be placed in homes that were unable to attend to their sensitive physical, social, and mental health needs. Those that were placed often returned to the hospital in need of repeat care. @lovinghandschildrenshome

Loving Hands Children’s Home offers living accommodations and care services for displaced and medically fragile children within a secure setting. The facility provides a fully certified staff within and a wide variety of care services and activities. 

The children and youth attend public schools, play sports, participate in after school activities, have chores, and hang out with friends - just like other children their age. They encourage accountability and responsibility through community service and other projects to build confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.

Adrian met up with Janiese Finney at the North Hollywood Police Station to talk about the issues in foster care and the work her organization is doing for some of these kids.

The Painted Turtle is located in Los Angeles.  Through innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support, children with more than 73 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood.   A member of Paul Newman’s renowned SeriousFun Camps (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), The Painted Turtle has served over 47,000 children and their families through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004.

There is no billing department at The Painted Turtle—campers and their families attend free of charge. @thepaintedturtlecamp

Their Outreach Program, known as The Painted Turtle Outpost, allows them to reach out to children who are hospitalized, giving them a chance to be in an environment where they can “go to camp” and forget about their illness, at least for a little while. Since the launch of the program in September 2007, the Outpost program has brought the fun and spirit of their camp program into hospital playrooms and community events all throughout California.

We had the opportunity to visit Jessica Santos and Eliot Dreiband at The Painted Turtle and learn a little about what they are doing for children with serious medical conditions and their families.